While Android isn’t recognised for its user privacy, Google has done a good job throughout the years of implementing additional privacy and security features. Google has included useful privacy options in Android 12 to secure user data. On Android phones running Android 12 or higher, these are the finest privacy settings.
Best Privacy Settings on Android
Until the Android 12 upgrade, this guide will focus on the finest privacy options Google has released. We’ll be adding to the list as Google adds new privacy features to future Android upgrades.
1. Check Permission Dashboard
Users can now audit installed apps on their phones using Android 12. You can view exactly which permissions are being used in the background by the installed apps.
1. Open Settings on your Android phone.
2. Go to the Privacy menu.
3. Open the All permissions option.
You can see in detail which apps accessed which permissions at what time. You can, for example, tap on Location to check when a specific app used your location permission during the day.
Go to the Programs tab and look for any apps that are seeking unnecessary permissions in the background.
2. Manage Permission for Apps
If you notice that an unfamiliar app is constantly accessing location or microphone permissions, you should disable those permissions for that app. Here’s how to do it.
1. Open the Settings menu and go to the Apps tab.
2. Select an app that’s taking advantage of allowed permissions on your Android phone.
3. Go to App Permissions and deny unnecessary app permissions.
3. Check Microphone and Camera Access
This is straight from iPhone’s iOS 14. The OS will display a green dot in the top right corner whenever an app or game accesses the device’s camera or microphone.
A green dot with a camera or microphone icon sits beside the battery menu in Samsung One UI 4.
It’s fine for apps like Instagram, Snapchat, Camera, Phone, and WhatsApp to have access to the camera and microphone in order to function properly. However, if you see a random programme using your microphone in the background, you should take action right away from the Settings menu (see the second trick).
4. Turn off Microphone Access
This is useful if you’re going to an important meeting and want to entirely disable microphone access on your phone.
You can disable microphone access in the Privacy menu or add the Microphone toggle to the quick toggles menu.
1. Reveal the notification area and scroll left on toggles.
2. Tap on the + icon to drag and drop the microphone toggle.
Simply show the notification area and enable or disable microphone access from now on.
5. Give Approximate Location
You shouldn’t give your specific position to any app on your Android phone except ride-hailing applications, food-delivery apps, and Google Maps. The operating system allows you to communicate a rough location with apps. Here’s how you can put it to use.
1. Open Settings and go to the Apps menu.
2. Select an app and go to Permissions.
3. Tap on Location and disable Use precise location toggle.
For the location, you can also enable the ‘Allow only while using the app’ permission.
6. Alert When Clipboard Is Accessed
This is yet another Apple-inspired privacy feature that Android has adopted. When an app tries to read the clipboard in the background, the OS will notify you.
When an app accesses text, photos, or other content you’ve copied, you’ll get a notification. To enable the toggle from Settings, follow the instructions below.
Launch Settings and navigate to the Privacy menu. Enable Alert when clipboard accessed toggle and you are good to go.
7. Ditch Google Chrome
In terms of privacy and data tracking, Google Chrome does not won any accolades. The Google Play Store is brimming with privacy-focused browsers, and Brave is your best bet for surfing the web without leaving a trail.
Brave, which is based on Chromium, removes all unwanted advertisements and trackers on websites and has a longer battery life than Google Chrome.
Download – Brave browser for Android
8. Invest in Password Manager and 2FA App
While Android comes with built-in password management, you’re better off downloading third-party apps like 1Password, Bitwarden, or Enpass from the Play Store.
You may also enable two-factor authentication (two-factor authentication) for popular apps and services like Google, Facebook, and Instagram.
9. Download Regular Android Security Updates
The majority of Android OEMs release monthly security upgrades for their flagship products. Companies offer Android security upgrades every three months for mid-range phones. Make sure you have the most recent Android security patch installed by going to Settings > Software Update.
Enjoy Privacy on Android
In the year 2022, you shouldn’t reject Android OS because of its poor reputation for data security. Google has come a long way and is now able to provide users with all of the required privacy features.